No, we're not speaking in a foreign language. Here

are some industry terms so you can follow along.

Narration - - In a video production, various voices may be heard.  Sometimes the viewer will see a video image of the person talking, such as an interview subject, actor saying lines or newscaster talking to the camera.  When a voice is heard but not seen, it is referred to as Narration, or more commonly: a Voiceover.  See also:  Voiceover,



Non-Linear Editing (NLE) - - This term describes the editing process using digital files and computers, as opposed to legacy tape or film-based editing systems.  With previous systems, the editor would most likely assemble the video in a beginning to end "linear" fashion.  With digital files and computers, it is possible to assemble the final product with greater freedom. The editor can assemble a segment in the middle of the program first if so desired.  The non-destructive nature of digital editing means he/she can experiment and move clips and elements from one place to another in a non-linear fashion.  Different versions of the project can be made using familiar computer commands such as "Save as a copy".


Optical zoom - - Cameras that have zoom lenses are typically performing an optical zoom, where the lens has the ability to change the focal length either closer to or further from the subject.   See also: Zoom, Pan, Tilt


Outro - -  A segment of a video that acts as the "conclusion" or "summary".  See also:  Intro


Overlay - - Putting one image on top of the other.  The overlay will cover or partially cover what is underneath.


Overscan - - Unlike computer displays, consumer television sets do not display the entire image.  A portion of the image around the edge is often "covered" by the plastic bezel of the TV.  This area is known as the overscan area.  See also:  Safe area


Over the shoulder - - A shot framed with an emphasis on a particular character. This shot is often used in a dialog scene where two people are facing each other and are having a conversation. The camera is positioned so that we see the face of one person, and the back shoulder of the 2nd subject.


Pan - - 1. A type of camera movement/shot where the camera pivots on a point such as a tripod or a person's shoulder and then makes lateral movements from right to left or left to right.  2.  With stereo audio clips, it is possible to "move" the balance between the signal between the two channels.


Pixel - - The small individual elements of color, likened to "dots" on the screen that when taken together comprise the image or video frame.  The dimensions or "resolution" of a digital image or video frame are described in the horizontal and vertical pixel count of that image or frame.


Plug-in - - Video editing software provides a range of possible effects and the ability to alter the image in some form or fashion.  Plug-ins are additional, smaller pieces of software code that can be added to the main editing software.  Plug-ins are often created by 3rd party software programmers and can extend, enhance or add additional features and capabilities to the main editing software application.


Post production - - All production work performed after the raw video footage and audio elements have been captured. Editing, titles, motion graphics, special effects, color enhancement, and audio mixing/sweetening and final distribution are all performed during post production.  See also:  Pre production, Production


POV (point of view) - - A term used to describe the point of view of the viewer.  In terms of a video shot, a POV shot would show the perspective of a scene as a character or object in the scene would see it, almost like the camera were the subject's own eyes.  Small "action" cameras such as the GoPro Hero often capture this POV shot and because they are small and can be worn, often with dramatic results.


Practical - - Refers to objects and props of a set that are really there, such as furniture, books, lamps, tools, etc. They can be real or mocked up to look real. They exist physically in the set and the scene.


Pre production - - This is the phase of the production process where all the elements of the production are planned and coordinated.  Scripts and storyboards are created.  Actors are chosen. Locations are secured.  Basically, any step necessary leading up to the actual video shoot itself is considered a pre-production task.  See also:  Production, Post production


Production - - The phase of the video production where any needed audio and video elements are captured. So in a sense, the Production phase is another term for the video shoot portion of the project.  Note that sometimes there is overlap between the 3 phases of production.  You might begin work on the editing portion while still capturing a few remaining shots, for example. See also:  Pre production, Post production


Progressive video - - A method of displaying video in which complete frames of video are displayed one after the other in sequence.  Each individual frame is a complete image, unlike Interlaced video where only half of the information is displayed on the screen at once.  See also:  Interlaced video


QuickTime - - File format from Apple Computer that works as a multimedia "container" file.  It can contain various types of data and other information, such as video, audio, effects or text in the case of subtitles.  This data can be of a variety of different codecs. Characterized by the .mov file extension.  See also:  Codec


Raw footage - - Refers to video footage that has not been edited or otherwise changed in any way, and is in its "raw" form from the video camera.  See also:  Footage


Render - - In video post production, this refers to the process where the video editing software program converts the applied effects, individual tracks, transitions, audio, etc. into a new continuous video file.  When a production becomes so complex that the computer cannot possibly playback the work in real time and at good quality, it must be rendered to be able to view the editor's work.


Resolution - - The dimension of an image, expressed as the number of pixels a video frame contains horizontally and vertically.  In standard definition video, the measurements are typically 640 by 480, or 720 x 480.  High definition video is typically 1,280 by 720, or 1,920 by 1,080.  Sometimes these are referred to just by their vertical dimension such as 720p, 1080i and 1080p.  See also:  High definition, Standard definition


Roll - - To move lines of text vertically, typically from bottom to top, as you commonly see for credits at the end of movies, for example.  See also:  crawl


Room tone - - This is the natural presence of sound in a room. Every room has some sort of noise.  Often this is recorded and later intercut with the dialog, or it is used as a "sound print" that the software can use to reduce its volume in the finished track.  Room tone and ambient noise is important to pay attention to; too much of it can cause the location to be undesirable for recording audio.


Rough cut - - A quick assembly of video clips and other elements, as a first step to get the clips in the desired order and help to make initial choices of what to use before spending a lot of time treating clips and adding effects.


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